Cooler weather can take its toll on your skin, leading to issues like dryness and irritation. When the weather is warmer, the air is typically more humid and can therefore help to keep the skin moist. But in the cooler months, outdoor air becomes dryer, and heating systems can also zap moisture from your skin.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can winterize the skin on your face and other vulnerable areas of your body to protect it through the season. Here are a few tips to consider.
With reduced humidity, you’ll want to revamp your moisturizing routine. Petroleum or cream-based moisturizers are most effective for locking in moisture, especially when applied directly after showering. If your skin is sensitive, try to avoid added fragrances, which could further irritate dry skin.
Keep in mind that some areas of the skin are also more prone to dryness because they’re regularly exposed to the air and UV rays, or have fewer oil-producing glands. Your lips, for example, don’t produce natural oils on their own, so may need an extra moisture boost.
Use Lukewarm Water
Although a hot bath or shower may sound tempting on a chilly night, you’ll do your skin a favor by keeping the water temperature lukewarm. Hot water can worsen dryness, so aim to keep the temperature at 98.6°. Avoid washing your hands and face with steaming hot water, too.
Go for a Facial
There’s never a bad time of year for facial treatments, but they can be especially effective during the winter months. Facial services can be tailored to meet your skin’s unique needs, including dryness and dullness. Hydro Dermalinfusion, for example, is a three-in-one process that exfoliates the skin to remove dead cells and delivers a level of penetrating moisturization you won’t get at home.
Prevent Chapped Lips
Dry weather, sun exposure, and dehydration can all contribute to chapped lips. At best, they’re uncomfortable; at worst, they can become cracked, sore, and bloody. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), a non-irritating lip balm that’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free can help lock in moisture. Look for ingredients such as castor seed oil, ceramides, shea butter, and sun-protective ingredients. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even if you’re not as thirsty during the winter months.
Tend to Your Psoriasis
According to Arthur Mandelin, M.D., Ph.D., a rheumatologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, winter weather can be a trigger for some people with psoriasis. If you find that winter does lead to flare-ups, try taking shorter showers, minimizing your use of harsh soaps, and moisturizing with a synthetic ceramide to lock in moisture. Running a humidifier could also provide relief. Consult your dermatologist for more specific advice on protecting your skin from this condition.
Continue Sunscreen Applications
While damaging UVB rays are strongest in summer, they can still cause burns during winter, leading to increased irritation — not to mention putting you at risk for skin cancer and premature aging. Continue applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher daily if you’re spending time outdoors, even on the winteriest overcast days.If you’re experiencing a skin issue this time of year, turn to Olansky Dermatology & Aesthetics, Atlanta’s leading dermatology practice. Our office skincare experts can address any skincare challenges you’re facing to help you look and feel your best year-round. Contact our office online or at (404) 355-5484 to schedule an appointment.